The Wild Child

Lerwill brings nationally known act to rodeo grounds

Born into a rodeo family, it should come as little surprise that Troy Lerwill's career path landed him in an arena.

But Lerwill isn't a cowboy. He is a rodeo entertainer -- part clown, part barrelman, part motocross rider.

"I'm a little bit of everything," Lerwill said. "I'm a little bit of a geek, too."

It is Lerwill's passion for entertaining and motorcycle riding that has rodeo organizers thrilled about his weekend appearance in Steamboat Springs.

Lerwill is the 2003 and 2004 recipient of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Comedy Act of the Year, the highest honor given to a rodeo clown.

"It's like getting an Oscar," Lerwill said. "I was overwhelmed."

Lerwill brings his motorcycle act to the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series at 7:30 p.m. today in a performance that dropped John Shipley's jaw when the rodeo board president and announcer first saw it.

"I've never seen anything like it in a rodeo arena," Shipley said. "We have wanted him a long time."

Lerwill isn't the first Comedy Act of the Year to pass through the gates of Brent Romick Rodeo Arena, but Shipley said spectators will leave wowed, not only by Lerwill's motorcycle stunt act, but by his overall entertaining talent.

"Troy thought outside the box," Shipley said. "He is a motorcycle guy originally, but also a rodeo clown. He came up with a way to meld the two together. I think because of his unique approach, he got as much attention as quickly as he could."

Lerwill, otherwise known as "the Wild Child," and his wife, Rebecca, call Payson, Utah, home, but the rodeo act has taken the pair from the Florida Keys to Calgary, Canada.

This week was their first in Steamboat.

"I knew the mountain biking was good, and I knew it was an awesome little town," Lerwill said. "We've been mountain biking every day. It's great."

Lerwill didn't want to reveal too much about his act, but he said it is unique and involves his wife and Shipley behind the microphone.

"The people, whether you are 80 or 3, love it," Lerwill said. "I think the biggest part of this act is the element of surprise."

The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series kicks off at 6 p.m. tonight with live entertainment and a barbecue at the rodeo grounds. The rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m.

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